Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged | Stone Brewing

very good
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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Bourbon Barrel AgedOld Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.20%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by HopHead84 on 08-05-2008

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 140 |  Reviews: 41
Reviews by KickInTheChalice:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From notes. From notes. Poured from a 500 mL bottle into a snifter.

My pour has a caramel amber color in the center, with a dark golden color at the edges. A small, tightly wound off-white cap gently forms around the edge of the glass.

A burst of bourbon is the first aroma to come across my nose. Wafting across after that are notes of caramel malt, apricot citrus, vanilla, and oak.

The bourbon comes across strong in the flavor as well, but it seems to me that the bottle has had enough time for the bourbon to blend into the base beer nicely. Good amounts of toffee, caramel, and vanilla all swirl around with the bourbon flavor, instantly showing off the beer’s fun complexity and aged smoothness. Some light notes of apricot citrus, figs, dates, oak, and spice add even further depth. The finish has a nice little bourbon kick.

Stone manages the mouthfeel of the bourbon barrel old guardian nicely. The body is cut just a little bit with the bourbon aging process, and the carbonation is still creamy and robust. A light stickiness is still present from the base beer, and there is a bit of alcohol burn at the back end of the sip. This is pleasantly smooth right now and will become more so over the next few years.

Being able to try this beer was definitely a treat, and I hope they will release it again in the future.

 1,334 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to dfillius for sharing.

A - Nice pop when the cork comes out. Pours hazy reddish brown with half a finger of tan head. Head maintains a cap throughout. Only small spots of lacing.

S - Nice caramel nose with some citrus, vanilla, oak and faint alcohol. Bourbon character is nice, not over the top.

T - Citrus is more pronounced in the taste than the aroma, as is the bourbon components. There is a particularly strong tannin presence in the finish that lingers for awhile. The caramel and vanilla provide a nice counter to the dry bitterness from the other flavor components, though the bitterness definitely wins out.

M - Medium mouthfell with significant dry bitterness throughout.

O - Pretty tasty, and more enjoyable than the regular Old Guardian for me. The bourbon flavors are quite nice. Each aip seems to alternate between lightly sweet and intensely bitter.

 878 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Lofreqwave
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ehammond1
3.07/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2010)

Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

(Aged for 1+ years)

Blind Tasting and Review

Clear dark orange and light brown with little visible carbonation that leaves the glass oily with residue. Compared to the other barrel-aged barleywines, this one is much lighter in color.

A mild aroma, especially compared to the others in the tasting, that includes mild caramel, toffee, and alcohol. There is very little bourbon or barrel evident in the aroma.

The flavor is mild, with very little barrel character. There's some caramel, toffee, a bit of bread, and a moderate level of bitterness. There's also some distinct oxidation present.

Medium bodied with low carbonation.

This was no better than average, and one of the most disappointing in the blind barrel-aged barleywine tasting.

 789 characters

Photo of williamjbauer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of acurtis
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of ste5venla
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of AlexChillton
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of For_those_near_death
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2014 Release

A - mysteriously uniform, baltic amber

S - didn't notice it

T - warm, colorful, splendid

M - right there at that Kentucky border, not Indiana, not Ohio, just over the river and into the land of oak barrels...too many empty...and now filled with beer.

O - ready to buy more....a USA friend tells me that its now at costco...and a great deal too....I would jump on a non-stop from Zurich to California, get off the plane, and buy a case at costco... und dann, bis später!

 488 characters

Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Hobbit
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Intlpostman
3.38/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of thagr81us
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had at the Stone Tap Takeover in Charlotte. 2006 Vintage. Served from tap into a tumbler. Poured hazy red-orange with a minimal white head. Maintained decent lacing throughout. The aroma was comprised of big malt, subtle hop, and just a small hint of bourbon. The flavor was of massive malt, nice chocolate, hops, and a hint of bourbon. It had a light feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was an excellent brew. I really enjoyed the surprise of chocolate in the flavor which made it that much more enjoyable. One thing about the massive malt was that it was not overwhelming but it was definitely the dominant characteristic to this brew. Glad that I got the opportunity to try this one.

 705 characters

Photo of HURTemHIZZY
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the churchkey last night. Pours a nice clear reddish brown with a big, fluffy light tan head that has great retention and leaves ok lacing down the glass. Aroma is fairly bourbony, with some alcohol. Vanilla, caramel, bourbon all blend together nicely.

This is very malt dominated, as I'm sure the aging diminshed the hop profile. The flavor is very much influenced by the barrel aging, picking up heavy notes of vanilla and caramel and just bourbon in general. Tasty, but I wouldn't want to do more than one glass of it.

 532 characters

Photo of Bung
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap takeover at Duckworths. From notes.
Slightly foggy orange pour, no head to speak of really.

Malty, caramelly vanilla and tannic oak.

Taste is sweet as one nose would have you guess. Matches the nose with some candied sugar as well. The oakiness cuts the sweetness just a bit.

Full bodied, sticky but there is much more carbonation than the appearance revealed. A warming sipper.

 387 characters

Photo of madpentzer
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a sample of this at the "The Craft of Stone Brewing Co: Liquid Lore, Epic Recipes, and Unabashed Arrogance" book signing event at Stone World Bistro.

A-Golden-amber with a small, white head.

S-Very sweet. Some vanilla with oak and toffee intermingled.

T-A wonderful blend of sweet malted barely, with vanilla, oak, and a slight hint of bourbon.

M-Great carbonation with a medium body.

O-Overall a great beer with great balance. Better than the fresh example of this beer and I'm excited to see what some age does to this beer.

 547 characters

Photo of LakerLeith
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of HaveUSeenMyCellar
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was IMO probably the best beer of the Boise Stone Tap Takeover.. '06 Bourbon Barrel aged Old Guardian...

The nose is thick and unmistakable .. vanilla, bourbon, bready malts and some definite caramel.. everything is very well integrated in the aroma.

Flavor is perfectly meshed.. thick vanilla caramel.. woody bourbon... toasty maltiness helps dry things out... more oak on the finish.. still a bit boozy for sure, but I appreciate the direction it is shooting from.. The "good" beer and the "good" whiskey combined with years in the same barrel make this a pretty epic brew. Maybe a touch sweet, but that is questionable for anybody's palate.

I had my fair share of this keg.. There was no doubt this brew was special.

Much appreciation to Erin, Dave, Matt, and Chris for making the Stone event come together. Very cool.


 850 characters

Photo of enelson
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Miketelly
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of Gregaroo
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nice and smooth with subtle bourbon aroma. 2014 vintage, so I wonder how this will be in a few years...

103 characters

Photo of afrokaze
3.25/5  rDev -20%

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Old Guardian Barley Wine Style Ale - Bourbon Barrel Aged from Stone Brewing
4.06 out of 5 based on 140 ratings.
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